Welcome once again to our Sunday meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not) that happened to you. If you’re new, please know that everyone is welcome.
Jules: Normally, we feature a children’s book illustrator here at our lists every Sunday. But this week we are featuring an artist and singer/songwriter musician named Karen Peris. Those of you who read this post of mine from early July may remember who she is. If you missed that, let me briefly explain that Karen is one of three members of one most remarkably wonderful band, entitled The Innocence Mission. And, when Karen kindly allowed me to post the lyrics in their entirety to one of her songs (in the post I mention above), I took the opportunity to ask her if we could feature the beautiful art work from the cover of their children’s lullaby CD, Now the Day is Over, released in 2004. Fans of well-crafted children’s CDs may want to know that this is a most excellent collection of standard and traditional lullabies as well as a few song choices not typically considered lullabies that they play and that Karen sings as lullabies (such as, “Once Upon a Summertime,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “Moon River,” which I can promise you is the most gorgeous version of “Moon River” you’ll ever hear). I also must add that there is an original lullaby on this collection of songs (”My Love Goes With You”), written by Karen, that absolutely slays me with its transcendent beauty and includes such nuanced and peaceful and flat-out gorgeous piano-playing by Karen herself (really, it has this perfectly-placed piano note in it that almost makes me weep every time) . . . I could talk lullabies forever. They fascinate me (traditional, contemporary, world lullabies — you name it), and this is one of my favorite lullaby CDs ever ever ever (and I had always hoped they’d do a lullaby CD, when lo and behold! They released one the very year my first daughter was born).
I thought the cover art was very fitting for our blog’s purposes, and Karen sent that image as well as another image from the CD, both sprung from her mind and created by her hands. Aren’t they lovely? (And, as Eisha pointed out, the cover image — while still totally Karen’s creation — has a real Georg Hallensleben feel, does it not? Which is a good thing, in our book) . . .
Thanks so much to Karen. We are thrilled that she was willing to share her art work. Be sure to visit their site if you want some good, new music in your life. The information about the lullaby CD is here (you might want to hear it, whether or not you have children or even if yours are grown. It’s a lovely, peaceful way to end — and start — one’s day). A portion of the proceeds benefits children’s charities.
Next week we’ll get back to another children’s book illustrator, and we’re excited, but you’ll have to come back then, won’t you, to see who it is?
Poetry! Poetry! I’ve had a good poetry week . . .
1). This Poetry Friday entry from this week over at
a wrung sponge led me to this online publication, mamazine: “mamazine.com is a feminist publication for mamas and people who love them. As feminist mamas, we want to critically examine cultural expectations of mamas and resist the unhealthy pressures put on them, while also taking the time to celebrate the real and often poignant joys of raising children.” How have I gone without this for so long as a mother? Thank you, cloudscome.
2). That same post at a wrung sponge was also about a featured interview at mamazine with poet Deborah Garrison (here is the interview). She has a book of poetry out, entitled The Second Child: Poems (Random House, February 2007). As the interview points out (and as cloudscome mentioned in her Poetry Friday entry), this is an excerpt (a description of peonies) from one of Garrison’s poems in that anthology, entitled “Pink and White”: “tumbled and heavy along/ a fence, fully exploded, nodding/ at the ground . . .” And the poem ends like this: “I wasn’t sure/ our love would come again,/ and here I am, almost/ kissing the grass like that,/ bursting and rich, cracked/ all over like broken cake—/ makes you cry but still sweet.”
“Like broken cake.” I love it. How evocative. I’m already on hold at the local library for this anthology.
3). Sara Lewis Holmes’ original poem, Annunciation, featured at her Poetry Friday entry this week. Absolutely sublime. I just keep reading and re-reading it.
4). I thought about the poem “Lilies” by Mary Oliver all week:
I have been thinking
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.
They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,
and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face
of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself
even in those feathery fields? . . .
Read here for the rest of it.
5). And I re-discovered this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye (”Fundamentalism,” a poem I’ve always loved), thanks to a comment Alkelda made in her upcoming blogger interview (tune in Monday for that interview). Oh, and a good friend of mine currently living and working at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California emailed to tell me that he got to sit in on part of a workshop Nye taught, which has helped revive his love for and practice of poetry. Excellent.
Okay, this is reading like a Poetry Friday entry, so two more quick non-poetry kicks:
6). Finally watching the science fiction classic “Soylent Green” with my husband. Right before the movie’s famous last line, I remembered the old “Saturday Night Live” skit with Phil Hartman (God rest his talented soul) as Charlston Heston in the movie. Even though that rather ruined the ending for me, I still chuckled to myself . . . Oh, and watching “Sideways.” The scene in which Miles tells Maya while he loves Pinot and she tells him why she loves wine is a kick of mine this week. I wouldn’t say the movie wow’ed me, but, whoa, that scene . . . now that’s some good writing.
7). Laughing to myself this week over something really stupid and, well, just infantile (and laughing again — and then again — and then one more time) . . . but realizing that Eisha would laugh, too, and hearing her laugh about it in my head. And realizing that’s how best friends are. You lose it over the same ridiculous things that others might think are remarkably unfunny . . . I wish she weren’t moving farther away, but I’m happy for her and cannot stinkin’ WAIT to visit her in Ithaca one day. Woo hoo!
I have no idea if Eisha will be adding her kicks this week. They’re heavy-duty in the midst of their move as I type. We’ll see . . . And I guess I should be saying sayonara here soon for a little while, as this week is supposed to be my official blog vacation while Eisha takes over (and if she’s not post-happy this coming week, cut her a break, since they’re making their Big Move to New York. I still can’t believe she offered to blog this week; she’s a whippersnapper, that one) . . .
Is anyone else around, or are you all off reading about Harry and his fight against evil? . . .
eisha: I’m here! Barely squeaking in before midnight… We just finished - a day behind schedule. It was the most bizarre move ever - fraught with unforeseen obstacles and just-as-unforeseen solutions. I’m way too tired to tell you all about it. So, let me just say, my one kick for this week:
1* We’re in Ithaca, and so is all our stuff.
And tomorrow, I’m running out to buy H.P. Screw unpacking, I’ve got to hurry before someone spoils it for me. So do not - I repeat, DO NOT - mention any details about the book on this blog until we’re both ready. Please? Thank you.
So, those of you able to tear yourselves away from HP7, how was your week?